ISLAMABAD: Thousands of literature lovers thronged the 5th Islamabad Literature Festival (ILF) marking outstanding success for a large number of interactive sessions, dialogues, performances and literary activities here at a local hotel.

ILF, a three-day literary event, started on Friday and would end on Sunday, with some memorable accomplishments.

Residents of twin cities showed their unbiased love for literature and literary icons belonging to different countries of the world by visiting capital’s very own ILF.

On the second day of the event, Fasi Zaka moderated a session “Preparing the citizens of tomorrow: Are we succeeding or failing?” The session was held to critique the current education provision in Pakistan.

Featuring participants like Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Nadia Naviwala, Shahid Siddiqui, and Ishrat Husain attended the event.

Reema Abbasi moderated a session “Lost Heritage: The Sikh legacy in Pakistan”, which was a nostalgic search for historic monuments and temples eroded by time. It also included the author Amardeep Singh and F S Aijazuddin.

To discuss the core issue of water, a special session “Where has all the water gone? Experts and concerned citizens debate the water crisis in Pakistan” was held in which Nisar A Memon, Kaiser Bengali, and Aaron Mulvany discussed the issue with the moderator Rina Saeed Khan.

A performance by Nimra Bucha and Sarmad Khoosat on readings from Amrita Pritam and Sahir Ludhianvi’s poetry focusing on their unique vision and elusive, unspoken romance was also featured on the second day of ILF.

“Gender violence, law and power in Pakistan focusing on feminists’ struggle for justice and equal rights” was held in which Nafisa Shah, Sherry Rehman, and Ijaz Shafi Gilani participated with the moderator Samar Minallah Khan.

‘Rail Kahaani’ was presented by Zambeel Dramatic Readings based on the short stories of railway journeys written by different authors. These were presented by Shama Askari, Asma Mundrawala, Saife Hasan and Fawad Khan.

Qasim Yaqoob moderated a session “Mohabbat aur Dehshat Gardi: Aaj ka Urdu Adab”, which was participated by Hameed Shahid, Irfan Urfi and Ravish Nadim.

A special session on poetry of Ifitkhar Arif was also held in which Iftikhar Arif had a detailed conversation with Harris Khalique and Asif Farrukhi while the session was chaired by Zehra Nigah.

To discuss the women’s issues in politics, AWAZ program presented a special session “Women and excluded groups in political parties and legislative bodies” in which Marvi Sirmed, Zafarullah Khan, and Bushra Gohar participated along with the moderator Shirin Gul.

A session “English poetry: The International Muse” was also featured on second day which included Blaine Marchand, Harris Khalique, Waqas Khwaja, Azka Khan and Orooj e Zafar, while the session was moderated by Ilona Yusuf.

Several new books including “Pakistan ki Tehzeeb o Saqafat” by Kishwar Naheed, “Hybrid Tapestries: The Development of Pakistani Literature in English” by Muneeza Shamsie, “Learning to Live with the Bomb: Pakistan: 1998–2016” by Naeem Salik, “Hyat-e-Shayr” and “Sur Mandal ka Raj” by Ali Akbar Natiq, “How Pakistan Got Divided” by Maj Gen (R) Rao Farman Ali and “The Arts and Crafts of Hunza Valley in Pakistan: Living Traditions in the Karakoram” by Jurgen Wasim Frembgen were also launched on the event.

This year, ILF witnessed remarkable interactive sessions, dialogues and performances, while displaying big names from the literary circles from Pakistan and abroad as well.

ILF will end tomorrow with a classical dance performance by Shayma Saiyid at the closing ceremony.